A bipartisan effort in the U.S. House of Representatives allowed the National Defense Authorization Act to pass, authorizing around $770 billion to fund the armed forces after the funding was blocked in the U.S. Senate.
Orlando Congresswoman Val Demings voted for the National Defense Authorization Act. “Keeping the American people safe is our number one job,” said Rep. Demings. “That’s why I voted today to fund our national defense and to give our brave men and women in uniform an important pay increase. We all have strong beliefs about U.S. foreign policy and national security, but some things must be above politics. Risking our national security for the sake of political theater is unacceptable and I’m glad that today bipartisan Members of Congress came together to keep the American people safe.”
The NDAA legislation will fund the U.S. armed forces and national security programs, including a pay raise for U.S. service members and an increase to allocation for military families. The funding, which has successfully passed Congress every year for the past six decades, was held up this year due to political gamesmanship in the Senate, forcing the House of Representatives to move forward in a bipartisan vote with an alternate strategy to ensure that funding wouldn’t be cut off to our armed forces.
The bill passed with with a final vote of 363-70, signaling strong bipartisan support. 169 Democrats and 194 Republicans voted for the bill, while 51 Democrats and 19 Republicans voted against it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not vote.
In addition to funding our national security and armed forces, the NDAA includes:
- Authorizes a 2.7 percent pay increase for our service men and women in uniform
- Authorizes and increases financial assistance for military families
- Reduces reliance on services, supplies, and materials from China and Russia, and restricts acquisition of personal protective equipment from those countries
- Makes historic changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to combat sexual assault in the military
- Supports law enforcement efforts to fight terrorism, narcotics, trafficking, and transnational organized crime
- Cracks down on domestic violent extremists in the armed forces
- Authorizes funding for Ukraine and the European Deterrence Initiative
- Expands efforts to combat China’s influence in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Directs the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine donation programs to nations including Haiti
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it will likely be voted on later this week since leadership from both chambers agreed to the final version of the bill. Then it can be signed into law by President Joe Biden.